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  • The Columbus Dispatch

    Body cam footage shows moments before 5 Columbus officers shot, killed man

    By Bailey Gallion, Columbus Dispatch,


    Columbus police showed videos at a press conference from body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras of the moments leading up to five police officers shooting and killing a man waving what appeared to be a tool or makeshift blade.

    Unidentified officers shot and killed Noel Hernandez, 35 , at about 11:15 p.m. Monday after responding to a report of a man with a knife in the area of Georgesville Road.

    Footage shows Hernandez tried to run toward officers with an item in his hand just before shots were fired. Police Chief Elaine Bryant said, based on an initial review of video, it appears officers followed policy.

    However, the final determination of whether the officers acted appropriately during the encounter lies with the Attorney General's Office's Bureau of Criminal Investigations, which handles investigations into fatal police shootings.

    Police also played three recordings of 911 calls placed before Hernandez's encounter with police. The callers said Hernandez was approaching vehicles and pounding on them with a knife in his hand.

    Hernandez's death marks the sixth time this year that Columbus police have been responsible for a death in the field.

    Columbus police initially responded to man with "edged weapon"

    Responding officers came upon Hernandez standing outside an SUV in traffic with an edged weapon. He ignored commands in Spanish and English to show his hands and drop the weapon and instead got into his vehicle and drove away, police said.

    Hernandez drove north on Georgesville Road and turned west on Sullivant Avenue, driving at a slow speed, and again exited the vehicle with a weapon, police said. He returned to the vehicle and continued driving west, again ignoring officers.

    At his final stop at the intersection of Sullivant Avenue and Industrial Mile Road, Hernandez got out of the SUV and walked into oncoming traffic with the weapon in his hand, police said. Officers tried unsuccessfully to subdue him with a Taser, but he charged officers with a weapon, and multiple officers fired shots, police said.

    Dash camera videos show Hernandez got out of the SUV on three seperate occasions, holding an object and making gestures. The second time he gestured at officers, but ignored their commends and returned to his vehicle.

    When he left the SUV the final time, several officers can be seen walking toward him.

    Recordings from body-worn cameras of three of the officers on scene showed Hernandez approached officers while waving his arms. He did not respond to commands despite officers stating they had fired a taser twice and he ran toward them.

    The officers opened fire, shooting him in the torso. He fell to the ground, and an officer ran back to his cruiser to retrieve a medical kit.

    Hernandez was taken to OhioHealth Doctor's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:49 p.m.

    Bryant said police received a call earlier in the day from a neighbor concerned about Hernandez and spoke to him at his residence, but Hernandez did not wish to speak to officers.

    The city's mobile response unit, which pairs trained Columbus Public Health officials and police officers to deescalate and stabilize crisis situations, was unavailable to respond to the call. All officers who responded were trained to deescalate crises, she said, and clinicians would not have been called in until the scene was secured.

    Bryant said it's not clear what item Hernandez was holding, but that it appeared to be a tool with a hooked end.

    This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Body cam footage shows moments before 5 Columbus officers shot, killed man

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